Umami, the fifth basic taste, is igniting interest within the ingredient and culinary worlds. It’s been hailed as savory, delicious, dimensional, and mouth-watering. Food product developers call umami a “back pocket” ingredient—one that supplies the missing link in formulations or recipes. Chefs call umami “yummy” and use terms like “umami synergy” and “u-bombs” to describe the role it plays in food preparation.

Tomatoes, a remarkable savory fruit, contain all five basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami, which brings out sweet, sour, and salty“Umami has become one of today’s hottest culinary topics,” says Debbie Carpenter, Sen…

Table 1. Sources and levels of free glutamate, inosinate, and guanylate. Adapted from Umami Information

Table 2. Worldwide applications of the umami taste. Adapted from Umami Information Center data

Premium Content
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
Access Food Technology
Log in Subscribe